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South Fork Edisto River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Weekend Trip Report
Trip Dates: Nov, 2003
Nearest City: Denmark, SC
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: kblynch


We put in at Hwy 70 bridge near Denmark and Finland, SC. This section of the South Fork Edisto is very intimate with many bends and challenging obstacles. You can count on year round logs so check the water levels before you go. Our trip showed gages 9.2 feet in Bamberg with a flow of 708. It's a beautiful black water river with lots of wildlife and a surprising current. It was great to see the number of deer, turkeys, beavers, river otters, hawks, and turkey vultures. The blue herons follow for a couple of miles and it's not unusual to see an alligator or two. The river this weekend was unusually full of new downed trees. This was especially the case above and just below Cannons Bridge at S-39-42. Once you get to the confluence with the North Fork and enter the main Edisto, it is wider and clear. Normally, folks paddle the South Fork for the challenge of the obstacles and strainers. However, November isn't a time many are on the river and the trees completely blocking the river were more than I've seen in my last several trips. We were able to cut through smaller branches on some, but be prepared to portage if you go before spring. We took out at Zig Zag Landing rather than going on to Hwy 21 bridge. With the shorter days and the trees, I was glad that we didn't have the extra 8 miles. We spent two nights on the river as you can usually find higher ground that isn't posted or a nice sandbar when the water is lower.


There are gas stations and fast food in Denmark and Bamberg.


No fees unless you park at Hwy 21 Bridge below Branchville. This is a private landing and parking with a small fee.


Hwy 78 to Denmark, SC. Then Hwy 70 to Ness Landing Bridge. Take out at Hwy 301/601 for a trip of 7 miles. Add another 5 miles to Cannons Bridge landing. Add another 10-11 miles to the confluence. Add 5 miles to Hwy 78 bridge but don't take out there. Go another 2-3 miles to Zig Zag Landing. If you have the time you can go on 7-8 more miles and take out at Hwy 21 bridge.

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